30 Exciting Phonics Games and Activities for Kids

30 Exciting Phonics Games and Activities for Kids

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Teaching children to read can be a struggle. Before working on letter recognition, learning letter phonics helps in the learning process for little ones. Phonics help children to hear, understand, and differentiate between sounds of alphabets. Educational phonics games are a proven method for building literacy skills in children. Phonics games for kindergarten help develop phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension in a fun and engaging process. 

What Is Phonics and Why Is It Important for Kids to Learn Phonics? 

Phonics Activities for preschoolers involve ways to tap into your child’s creative mind. Some of the best Phonics games & activities to improve reading skills for children are:

30 Best Phonics Games and Activities for Children Learning to Read

30 Best Phonics Games and Activities for Children Learning to Read

Phonics Activities for preschoolers involve ways to tap into your child’s creative mind. Here are some of the best Phonics Games & activities to improve reading skills for children.

1. Pancake Flip 

This game combines a love for pancakes with learning phonics! 

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Developing fine motor skills while reinforcing knowledge of words. 

How To Play 

Cut 8 to 10 circles out of cardboard and write the letters on them. Ask your child to flip over each pancake using a spatula while pronouncing the letter’s sound.

2. Mix And Match Cups 

Perfect for both classroom and home learning, these phonics games for first grade are easy to play and can suit different stages of phonics development.

For Ages – 5-7 Years 

Best For –  Learning consonant-vowel-consonant words or CVC words.

How To Play 

Take small bits of paper and write different letters. Stick them on leftover plastic cups. Rotate these cups to create different words and read them out loud.

3. Play Alphabet Ball 

Channelize some of your overactive child’s energy with this multifaceted Alphabet ball.

For Ages – 3-5 years

Best For – This alphabet ball educational game is all about movement, which can keep your child active.

How To Play 

Toss the ball to your child for them to catch it and call out a letter. Answer with an appropriate word of your own before the child throws the ball back to you. 

4. Newspaper Hunt 

These phonics games for 2nd grade give children a burst of enthusiasm to solve the mystery while developing their awareness of sounds and how to connect them to letters.  

For Ages – 4-6 Years 

Best For – Teaching kids teamwork and learning from each other through collaboration. It also teaches them to club sounds together to decode words.

How To Play 

Your child needs to identify images that begin with a specific sound or letter from some old newspapers or magazines.

5. Pick The Odd One Out 

You can create or download freely available alphabet cards for this phonics game. 

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Identifying the sound of each alphabet.

How To Play

Each of the cards contains a letter and corresponding objects. Your child can identify the sound and circle the image present in each card that doesn’t begin with the same sound. 

6. Pick An Ice-cream Stick 

This simple puzzle helps kids read and rhyme with basic CVC words! 

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – This game is a great alternative to worksheet, printed, or written phonics.

How To Play

This game requires a set of large ice cream sticks and a cup. Write letters of the alphabet on one end of the stick. Your child needs to pull out a stick and pronounce the letter. 

7. Monster Names 

This incredibly simple activity can increase confidence and comfort levels with these made-up words.

For Ages – 3-5 years

Best For – Reinforces phonetic sounds

How To Play 

Replace the first letter of a child’s name with the letter “M” and add ‘mad’ to the beginning. The kids can then act like monsters and play with each other. 

8. Phonics I-Spy Discovery Bottle 

This fun game is apt for preschoolers. 

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Teaching the child the phonic sounds of the alphabet letters.

How To Play 

Fill a large jar with small items that begin with various letters. Rice or sand can be used as filler. Use an alphabet deck or phonics clip cards to pick a letter. Shake the jar and hunt for the item corresponding to the beginning letter.

9. Toss Some Phonics Water Balloons 

What can be more fun than kids playing with water balloons on a hot summer day while learning all about phonic sounds? 

For Ages – 4-7 Years 

Best For – This fun phonics game offers an opportunity for kids to enjoy some gross motor play.

How To Play 

Prepare a box of water balloons with the word endings. Kids can pick a balloon and bring it up to a letter to see if it makes a word. If it does, they have to read the word and try to throw the balloon on the letter to pop it.

10. Two Words 

This simple game encourages new readers to practice their recognition of two-letter high-frequency words.

For Ages – 6-7 Years 

Best For – Distinguishing between two different sounds of alphabets.

How To Play 

This phonics game for 2nd grade requires kids to stand up when they say two words with a similar sound and remain seated when they say two words with different sounds. 

11. Worksheets

Fun and clever phonics worksheets and games are great for kids to learn more about sounds.

For Ages – 3-7 Years 

Best For – Learning about the sounds letters make and sounding out words. 

How To Play

Print online phonics worksheets for your children that they can use to move from reading to writing words.

12. Lock And Key 

This game unlocks your child’s phonics skills and helps in mastering tons of simple words! 

For Ages – 5-7 Years 

Best For – Instant Recognition of Alphabets while understanding ways to play a game. 

How To Play 

Label the keys with the letter sounds of the first half and the locks with the letter sounds of the second half of the word. Just say the word aloud, and children should match the correct letter sounds on each lock. If it’s a match, the key opens the lock.

13. Word Walking 

This phonics game activity suits your super energetic kid who enjoys being outdoors

For Ages – 4-6 Years 

Best For – Understanding sounds of the given word and learning new words. 

How To Play

Take words from the word list that is known to your child. Mix these words with new ones and write them on the pavement using chalk. Call out the words while focusing on the sounds. Your child will select the specific word while moving and jumping to newer words as they learn.

14. Letter Swatting

This fun and stimulating game help kids channel their energy into learning phonics.

For Ages – 4-6 years 

Best For – Learning pronunciation and identification of letters.

How to Play 

Use sticky notes to write the letters you think your child needs to work on and hand them a flyswatter. Call out a sound for your child to swat on the sticky note with the letter.

15. Erase The Sound

This exciting game helps kindergarteners to learn phonics through vibrant visuals.

For Ages – 4-6 years 

Best For – Exploring new words and identifying letter sounds 

How To Play 

Draw an erasable picture on a board, with parts of the illustration representing different letters and sounds, for example, a hat (for the letter ‘h’). Erase parts of the picture which represent the sounds you call out.

16. Spin And Rhyme 

This is a portable phonics learning game that you can keep your child busy with throughout the day.

For Ages – 4-7 Years 

Best For – Learning how to break down words.

How To Play 

Make rhyming word sets out of pieces of cardboard tubes. You can draw alphabets on them with a marker before sliding them onto a clothes hanger 

17. Letter Tile Mats 

The illustrations in this game will excite your child and make learning phonics interesting.

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Practicing letter-matching and sound-matching.

How to Play 

Collect paper mats with pictures and paper letter tiles. The child has to match the letter tiles to the pictures by identifying the beginning sounds of the word.

18. Phonics Scavenger Hunt 

This is a great educational and physical game for kids to play indoors. 

For Ages – 3-6 Years

Best For – Matching letters with words beginning with similar sounds 

How To Play 

Pick out a bunch of letters and ask your child to identify their sounds. Then encourage them to look for objects with a similar phonetic beginning. 

19. Pool Noodle Phonics Tool 

This hands-on activity will not only rid you of your extra pool noodles but teach your kid phonics too!

For Ages – 4-6 Years 

Best For – Learning how to join letters and make words. 

How To Play 

Take a pool noodle, cut it up uniformly, and mark select letters. Slide the pieces onto a long tube and let your kid stack and spin to form words. 

20. Phonics Hopscotch 

This delightful game can be played outdoors with friends while learning about letters.

For Ages – 5-10 Years 

Best For – This game helps the ability of children to match letters to their sounds.

How To Play 

Draw hopscotch markings on the ground with letters of the alphabet (both the upper- and lower-case letters). You can call out a letter or combination of letters and ask your child to jump on those letters and sound out each letter.

21. Phonics Cubes 

Make some fun alphabet phonics inserts for cubes to play with and learn simultaneously.

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Learning how to break apart syllables.

How To Play 

After the cube rolls, the child identifies the letter and names the pictures that start with that letter. The two cubes are rolled using the level 2 inserts, and the child tries to match the letter to the picture that begins with that letter.

22. Sound Cups 

This game can help pre-K children recognize alphabet letters and practice Letter Sound in a fun and easy way. 

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Good for number practice. 

How To Play 

Label disposable clear punch cups with a letter each. Place a set of small objects in a basket. Children need to sort each trinket into a letter cup by its beginning sound. 

23. Guess Who? 

Say three words, and the kids need to guess the characters whose name begins with the same sound as those three words.

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Identifying and recollecting alphabets that have the same starting letters. 

How to Play 

The class would guess the name of the child that has been called out in your class. 

24. Mystery Bag

A small dose of mystery can add interest to your game of guessing the right alphabet.

For Ages – 5-7 Years 

Best For – Matching Alphabets With Items.

How To Play 

Place three objects beginning with the same letter in a bag. The child has to pull each item out of the bag and guess the “mystery letter.”

25. Watch Phonics Videos 

It is an easy way to teach phonics to kids without them realizing the learning process.

For Ages – 5-7 Years 

Best For – Learning phonics through animated videos and songs.

How To Play 

This activity includes watching the videos or playing with the toys and discussing them later.  

26. Playdough Letters 

This engaging phonics activity needs just some colorful playdough to add to the fun.

For Ages – 3-5 Years 

Best For – Identifying the sound of the alphabet.

How To Play

Show your child a flashcard and let them identify the letter given. Use the playdough to make that letter. 

27. Picture Taking 

Picture Taking is a great activity on family trips and vacations

For Ages – 3-7 Years 

Best For – Improves observation skills and helps kids make their picture books. 

How To Play 

Your child can click pictures of random objects with a camera. Later you help them make their picture book with different letters and phonics.

28. Phonics Books 

Make your child read phonics books for learning and fun!

For Ages – 3-6 Years 

Best For – Improving vocational and reading skills.

How To Play 

For children who enjoy reading, simple phonic books are the way to go. 

29. Letter Races 

This is the perfect phonics-learning game for your little athlete.

For Ages – 3-5 Years

Best For – Learning enunciation and reproduction of letter sounds.

How to Play 

Place a magnetic board and a basket with magnetic letters. The child has to pick the letter matching the sound/word called out by you and place it on the board.

30. Rainbow Hop 

A colorful game to teach your little one all about alphabets.

For Ages – 4-7 Years 

Best For – Pronunciation of letter sounds and counting.

How to Play 

Use colored paper to make a circle for every letter of the alphabet. The child must roll dice, take the allotted number of steps, and pronounce the letter they land on.

Some kids learn the alphabet faster than others. Reluctant kids need to practice vowel sounds, beginning sounds, letter blends, and digraphs. Thus, identifying alphabets leads to reading fluency, and mastering language skills can lay the foundation for a lifetime of academic success.

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